Our trip began July 20th, 2008 with our 18 & 10 year old kids. It was my son's high school graduation gift and what a gift it turned out to be!
Embarkation: I was prepared for the long and frustrating lines due to the horror stories of other posts I read but we were pleasantly surprised as we did not encounter any problems whatsoever. Maybe other people expect that 2000 people can get on a ship in half hour but if you are realistic in your expectations and show up early it will all go smoothly. We did the early check in at the Queen Mary which I recommend since you will be in the first zone to get on the ship after the VIP's board.
Ship: The Pride was fantastic, sleek and fast as everyone else said. I do have to agree that you do feel the rocking motion on this ship so I would suggest ear patches so you can enjoy your cruise. The decor we found to be very tasty and being from Italy myself I truly appreciated the art and the whole Renaissance feel. We explored the ship in no time and it was absolutely spectacular. I am so happy we got to see her before she leaves for Baltimore. Our room steward was great and took good care of us. Our maitre'd in the Normandie dining room was phenomenal. We did the late seating and could not wait to get in there every night so that Marcelo can wait on us. What a great guy, we even took pictures with him on our last day. The dancing and singing the waiters do at the end of dinner is hysterical and we loved it and participated of course!
Entertainment: This was OK. We did not see all the shows and therefore I cannot comment fairly, but we did see Vroom and we liked it. My kids enjoyed Karaoke more than any other show so we spent alot of time in the butterfly room. My son also loved the casino and being 18 he was able to play the slot machines and he won $235 which made his week!
Ports of Call: Puerto Vallarta- we took the advice of cruisers on this board and walked to the Krystal hotel and used the pool, had lunch and swam in the ocean. That was FANTASTIC! We saved a ton of money doing this on our own and not through Carnival. The street vendors I do need to admit are very bothersome and annoying. I did buy some cheap anklets and bracelets for $2.00 but they still came back. I even pretended to be sleeping but they actually wake you!! I suggest staying in the water or getting in the pool at the hotel since they cannot solicit in the property itself. Later that night, I stayed on the ship and the family went into the Center and it was OK. They said it did look pretty run down with graffiti everywhere but they thought the Guadalupe Cathedral was very beautiful.
Mazatlan: Unfortunately, I did get some sort of stomach flu and since I saw the ship doctor they banned me from leaving the ship on this day. My family did go to Mazatlan and according to all three of them it was incredibly beautiful and their favorite port. In fact, they prefer we book a trip directly to Mazatlan next time and spend a week there. They bargained an open cab for $30 and the guy took them to the Golden Zone and stayed with them for hours. The had lunch, shopped and he took them on some other tour of the city and back to the ship. They loved it!
Cabo: Beautiful scenery but again annoying vendors. My boys did the desert ATV which they are still talking about. It was everything they thought it would be and more! We did this through the ship. My daughter and I just walked around the beach and then we all met up at Cabo Wabo for lunch.
Debarkation: We chose to leave later since we were spending three extra days in California. We all sat around while JeRome the comedian from the night before entertained us while our number was called. As we left, my son shed a tear (shocking) and my daughter burst out crying. We really did have a great time and the Pride is a sweet sweet ship!